​Go Green! China sets new goals for restoring a 'beautiful China'

By Rabi Sankar Bosu
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail China.org.cn, June 3, 2018
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Dianchi, Kunming, Yunnan province. [Photo/Xinhua]

During the 8th National Conference on Environmental Protection held in Beijing from May 18 to 19, President Xi Jinping called for winning the battle against pollution and promoting the construction of an ecological civilization to a new level.  

In his speech at the tone-setting meeting on environmental protection, President Xi laid out a bunch of plans to promote green development and tackle pollution to ensure "blue skies" and promote a revolution in clean energy which is in line with his idea of building a "beautiful China" by 2035. He said that on the whole, the quality of China's ecological environment has continued to improve, but the achievements so far have not yet been fully consolidated. 

Undoubtedly, Xi's speech takes on a more conservationist approach that aims to minimize the losses of ecosystem services and ramp up the national environmental regulatory framework. In a clear signal of the importance of safeguarding the environment, he urged the entire country to work together towards the goal of environmental reform: "We must clench our teeth, climb over this slope, and pass this ridge.” 

China's firm war on pollution is not a utopian ambition. China has been, and is on, the road to building an ecological civilization with green development concepts. Striving for ecological advancement has been reflected in China's national development strategies and leaders' public statements.

President Xi Jinping vowed to speed up reforming the system for enhancing ecological advancement and continuing the "Beautiful China Initiative" in his historic report to the 19th National Congress of the CPC on October 18, 2017. 

Li Ganjie, minister of Ecology and the Environment, said in an environmental report delivered to a bi-monthly session of the National People's Congress Standing Committee that China had attained most of its environment protection goals in 2017. The proportion of days with good air quality in 2017 stood at 78 percent, and the air density of major pollutants such as PM2.5 and PM10 dropped significantly. Many Chinese cities restrict the number of cars on the road in efforts to tackle pollution.

In spite of these notable progress, there is still a long way to go in terms of fighting pollution and conserving the environment. While stressing ecology and the environment as a "significant political issue,” in his speech President Xi emphasized four key areas: (1) designating a new era to promote the construction of ecological civilization, (2) promoting the historical transition of ecological environment protection, (3) to build beautiful China by accelerating the construction of an ecological civilization system, and (4) solving the problem of ecological environment. 

Undoubtedly, Xi's speech showcased the leadership's determination to build a beautiful China as well as a beautiful earth. Erik Solheim, the executive director of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) praised China for its ecological renewal model on May 18: "I think environmental changes in China for the last five years has been the fastest in human history, very amazing and positive."

It is expected that China, as one of the biggest countries in the world, should shoulder its due responsibility in the global governance of ecological protection. And at the same time, it is hoped that the developing countries including India can learn from China's top-level design and national strategies for tackling pollution and ecological advancement.

Rabi Sankar Bosu, Secretary of New Horizon Radio Listeners' Club, West Bengal, India

Opinion articles reflect the views of their authors only, not necessarily those of China.org.cn.

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